Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had our favorite kind of Christmas: staying home just us three, relaxing, spending time together, doing whatever we want.  :-)  Our day included older traditions of reading about our Savior's birth and picking out gifts for the needy.  We continued a newer beloved tradition of chatting with one of our dear friends over speakerphone.  Kylen played a new DS game, Greg worked on his laptop, I blogged.

It's probably hard to believe, but Greg and Kylen delight in bugging each other with their feet.  GROSS!  Things like, "Footie would like to comb your hair." or "Footie wants to help open your presents."

Examples of our paper:

I got the boys several funny shirts.  One of our favorites!

This is a shirt Kylen has talked about ever since he saw my sister wearing it several years ago.  I was excited to find one for him!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!  It's absolutely perfect for Kylen.  As a big strapping boy, pushups aren't his strong suit!

Kylen got a new DS game:

Gifts from my friend Kris.  I'm looking forward to using new stationary when writing my pen-pals!

I collect My Little Kitchen Fairies.  Greg found me a couple from my wishlist.  I'm only collecting those up through series 20, due to a decline in quality.  Maybe I'll do a post about the ones I have at some point.  This one is called Cereal and Milk.  Isn't she cute??

We've already played Dominion Intrigue twice.  We had to toss two types of cards due to inappropriate subject material!   That was an annoying surprise, but other than that it was nice to have new cards.  We plan to try Fortress America later today.

An annual gift from my mom that is still most welcome!

For Kylen from Greg's parents: electronic chess.  He's managed to beat it on level 8; it has 128 levels.  Should keep him challenged for awhile!

I was kinda dreading playing Mario 3D World together in the chilly basement, until . . .

I got the brilliant idea to have Greg set up the electric blanket!  Now I don't have to worry about being cold!  Greg usually shares it with me.  Kylen took this shot on Christmas.  I adore it . . . like a glimpse of us growing old together!  :-)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

The day before Christmas, we celebrated at Greg's parents' house after lunch, then met my uncle's family at their church's candlelight service.

My uncle showed us a couple of light displays in the area.  This whole street was amazing, but the tree was incredible.  Greg didn't think it was real until we got close!  The lights went through various cycles.  I had to take pictures fast, because there were cars continually lining up to drive through.


We drove past one of those houses that has a station with coordinated music.  It was very impressive, way better than the videos I've seen!  Wish we could have sat there through the entire display, but again, there were others waiting.  I'd like to go visit both areas again.

My uncle's children:

Saying goodnight.  We had a great time!

The 23rd

We invited my parents, sister's family, and brother over for the evening on the 23rd.  We started with dinner.  I bought a set of three candles with LED's and a remote that allows you to change their color.  If I had known how cool they were, I would have ordered more and given them as gifts!  The kids enjoyed playing around with them.


 Time for presents, Boys!

Elijah, my sister's oldest, is 6 years old.  He says the absolute funniest things!  We gave him and his brother our Skylander's set now that Kylen has outgrown it, and he was SO excited!  His comment left my brother in stitches:

The 23rd is also my sister's birthday.  We made blueberry cream cheese strudel, and put a candle in it.  Elijah asked why we were having ice cream on our turkey.  He also said something about the legs, which was because the bread at the ends was sticking up.  The kid was hilarious!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kylen joined friends at the library again to build gingerbread houses.  (See his creation last year here.)  Notice, he went a little crazy on the Twizzlers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

What We've Been Up To

We've enjoyed several gatherings with friends this month including two teas, a couple of dinner get-togethers, and a game night with my brother.  Karla hosted an impromptu Christmas party potluck for our last Bible study, as they will be moving soon.  It was a bittersweet event, but we all laughed and had a great time.  Unfortunately, most of my pictures didn't turn out.  They always make the cutest favors!  I took this one the next day:
Of course, plenty of shopping.  I purchased my year's supply of slippers, which I must wear at all times.  The arthritis in my feet makes it too painful to walk barefooted.  They need to be good quality to hold up to constant wear and multiple washings.  Thankfully, I've had good success at Macys.

We've watched several Christmas videos, including The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Christmas Carol.  This is a more recent favorite:

With Kylen's two recitals, Greg's basketball, our co-op's Christmas party and registration, and other odds and ends, we've had a pretty full month, and it's not over yet!  I am praising God though, because in the past December has been stressful for me.  This might be the first year since Kylen was born that I have not felt overwhelmed during the holidays.  Thank you, Jesus!

First Violin Recital

Kylen's violin recital was a very different experience from his piano recitals.  He didn't choose his song, and students performed one piece rather than several.  There was more variety, which added interest.  The diversity in performances included group and solo piano, group violin, and a flute/piano duet.  One student sang while playing.  The piano teacher usually brings cookies, but here the families contributed various finger foods to share.  I think it's neat how each instructor has her own unique way of doing things.

All the students sat in front instead of next to their parents.

The teacher gave a festive touch to the violin's by tying on a ribbon when she tuned them.

Each student received a bag of goodies!